Alia Riza

Alia grew up in Toronto on the traditional territories of the Anishinabewaki, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga, and Haudenosaunee. She is a graduate of Queen’s University with a BAH in global development studies and a minor in environmental studies, with her main interests being in environmental justice and food security. She spent most of her childhood summers swimming in Ontario’s beautiful lakes and developing a passion for the environment. This interest further developed in university while studying the integrated, far-reaching impacts of water issues in Canada and beyond. She is excited to share this passion with youth while working with Waterlution. In her spare time, she loves to bike, travel, cook (and eat) new foods, and hike!


Anand Safi

Anand began with Waterlution in 2020 as a volunteer Youth Advisory Board member. He continues to be a technical leader in his professional career as a technology fellow. Anand has been involved in volunteer work for 12+ years to fight against hunger, community food packaging efforts and donating supplies for families in need. He has a keen interest in public speaking, leadership and society welfare by taking on new projects and initiatives.


Amira Elwakeel

Passionate about water, Amira has pursued a variety of water-related endeavors, from working in a Hydraulic Engineering lab in Germany to studying Water Resources Engineering in Australia. Amira is currently working for the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society in her hometown, located on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation. She is finishing up her undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering with an Energy and Environment minor at the University of Calgary. During her free time, Amira loves to do all things outdoors, from hiking and climbing to snowboarding and skating. She also enjoys reading, gardening, and listening to podcasts. Amira is excited to engage with local youth through the Young Water Speaks program.

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Angela Belleau

Angela grew up in Garden River First Nation, Ontario, also known as Ketegaunseebee or “The Creators Garden”. She spent her childhood exploring the land, building forts, and creating games and activities with friends. Not much has changed except now she has some white hair, and uses her creativity and resourcefulness to develop teaching resources for Indigenous classrooms and workshops. When she’s not working or travelling she is indulging in her hobbies which include: painting, drawing, and rearranging furniture.

Angela’s goal is to continue on her journey as a content creator and workshop facilitator, while inspiring young minds to think BIG and be creative.


Ashley Stewart

Ashley, a passionate life-long learner and an advocate for a more sustainable life, spent most of her childhood  near, in, or beside the water. She loves to swim, backcountry camp and canoe. A love of the water and the natural environment led Ashley to obtain a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in English from Carleton University and a certificate in Advanced Water Systems Operations and Management from Fleming College. She currently works at the Municipality of North Grenville as a Water Wastewater Compliance Coordinator. In her position with the municipality, Ashley ensures that the town of Kemptville’s drinking water is safe to drink and that the wastewater is effectively treated before being returned to the environment via the Rideau River. Ashley lives near the small village of Spencerville, which is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee (St Lawrence Iroquois). When Ashley is not renovating her new to her 19th Century farmhouse or trying to get her small flock of ducks in a row you can find her out in the garden pulling weeds with glee, in the kitchen baking up one too many beet cakes, knitting the same sweater she started in 2019, or taking a quiet moment to read some Canadian historical fiction.


Athena Choo-Ket-Loung-Murray

Athena is an avowed environmentalist, with a passion for sustainability and water-conscious learning. Growing up near Lake Ontario, on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations, allowed her to fully embrace the importance of water-conscious education. Field trips to Lake Ontario, canoeing and fishing as a food source pushed Athena to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences at Queen’s University at Kingston situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory, where she now resides. As an undergraduate student at Queen’s University, Athena has had the opportunity to participate in peaceful demonstrations concerning Climate Change and the protection of Indigenous lands and waterways within her community. As a new member of the Youth Advisory Board she hopes to continue contributing to and supporting educational water programming for youths in communities across Canada.


Ben Herringer

Ben lives in Halifax NS, located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. Growing up in Calgary, Ben developed a love for nature and the outdoors by hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. He moved to the east coast to pursue a university education and the opportunity to play varsity soccer at St. Francis Xavier University, where he studied Human Kinetics and Nutrition.

Ben is passionate about climate change action, environmental conservation, and social justice, and hopes to engage youth around these topics as a member of the Youth Advisory Board. He is committed to making a positive impact on his community through his work.

In his free time, Ben enjoys living an active lifestyle and getting outdoors as much as possible. He’s happiest when he can escape from the city to hike along the coast, ride his mountain bike, or swim in the ocean.


Cassandra Nagy

Cassandra was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario (the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation) and is a proud public servant. Former Senior Advisor to the Chief Information Officer of Canada, Cassandra is over-the-moon to have joined the Canadian Space Agency in April 2020. Cassandra holds an honours degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management, specializing in Technology Policy from Carleton University. Cassandra was named in 2019 as one of Canada’s top 21 “Young Impact Leaders” by Future of Good.

Some of her favourite past-times include hiking, skiing, paddling and swimming in Canada and abroad. Her favourite water-adventure to date has been stand-up paddle boarding with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba.


Claire Phillips

Claire grew up in Ontario on the land of the Petun, Anishinabewaki, Odawa, and Mississauga territories. Her love for the outdoors began exploring the shores of Georgian Bay and this led her to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies & Geography at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She recently completed her degree and continues to live and learn on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, W̱SÁNEĆ, Te’mexw Treaty Association, and Lekwungen/Songhees Nation.

Claire is passionate about sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and outdoor adventure, all of which she hopes to combine in her future pursuits!


Emma Brown


Emma Swabey

Emma is a transplanted Albertan who currently lives, works and plays on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people in Williams Lake, British Columbia. She is passionate about building community and getting familiar with the outdoors. She has had many awesome outdoor experiences that have steeped her relationship with nature and led to a strong commitment to sustainable resource development. Emma is an Agrologist with experience in environmental consulting, waste diversion and currently works in land and resource management in British Columbia. She is excited to be a part of YAB to engage with youth in her community and to help inspire them to develop their own relationships with the environment.


Erin Kohler

Erin grew up in Alberta exploring the peaks and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Through summer camp she became involved with canoe tripping at a young age and fell in love with paddling immediately. Her early canoe journeys brought her across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. Inspired by her passion for water and outdoor education, she pursued a BSc in Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta. A few days after graduation she packed up and left for the Yukon to chase her dream of canoe guiding in the North. She continues to live and explore in Whitehorse, Yukon on the lands of the Taa’an Kwächän and the Kwanlin Dün First Nations. When the rivers freeze, Erin can be found coaching the local ski racing team and backcountry skiing in BC and Alaska. Erin believes strongly that the best way to get folks passionate about conservation is get them out on the land to make meaningful connections with the people and places around them.

Harper Schmalz

Harper Schmalz

Harper is a fourth year BSc. Honours Applied Water Science student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She currently resides in her hometown of Cambridge, Ontario which is situated on the Haldimand Tract within the territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabe, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Her extra-curricular experience includes acting as the president of the Laurier Water Science Students Association, volunteering with environmental not-for-profit organizations Land Care Niagara and Recycle 4 Rhinos, and is now an active member of the Youth Advisory Board at Waterlution. From a young age, Harper found a deep connection with water and grew up within a highly active family of swimmers. Harper seeks to continue learning about freshwater resources and further explore her passions for cold region hydrology and wetland restoration. She is eager to cultivate her appreciation for Canada’s rich history with water through her involvement with Waterlution’s Youth Advisory Board and explore water through a more social lens.


Harveen Sandhu

Harveen was born in Nairobi, Kenya and has Sikh Punjabi heritage. She is so grateful to call the beautiful ancestral Algonquin lands home for the last 25 years. Because of her deep love of storytelling, Harveen trained as a theatre actor at Ryerson Theatre School and was blessed with many opportunities to perform on some of the most prestigious stages from coast to coast in Canada. After a decade of travelling, performing and living out of a very big and heavy suitcase, she returned to Ottawa where she is currently completing a Masters in Education with a special focus on environmental education for young people. Harveen is a regular educator at the Ottawa Forest & Nature School (OFNS), a magical place where children run wild and free and learn through play and inquiry, and she is currently the Acting Chief Education Officer at Genvironment, a grassroots organization connecting and empowering youth in Sustainability Education. Harveen is confident that the best thing we can do for the mental and spiritual wellbeing of our younger generations is to connect them deeply to Mother Nature. This will also ensure that we begin to tackle the climate crisis at the root: by reminding humanity of its interconnectedness with all Life! Harveen is super passionate about animal rights, sustainable food systems, the ancient science of Yoga and Ayurveda, piano, world music, spirituality, Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies, and children’s literature. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this year’s Youth Advisory Board with Waterlution and is looking forward to all the learning!


Heather Ibbetson

Heather presently resides in New Brunswick, on the traditional territory of the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq Peoples. She is a double graduate of the University of New Brunswick, holding a Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is currently entering a graduate studies program at Brock University. Heather hopes to focus her research on the impacts of Canadian public policy on climate-related issues. In her spare time, Heather enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, and canoeing with her family and canine-companion, Albus. She is also an avid reader and appreciates a well-written narrative. Heather first became interested in water sustainability after moving to a small New Brunswick community that was situated alongside several important waterways. She is excited to connect and learn from others through the Youth Advisory Board and Young Water Speaks program.


Kat Hill

Katherine (Kat) Hill is excited to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board for the Young Water Speaks Storytelling Contest! She currently works as an environmental educator in Calgary, Alberta, the traditional lands of the Niistapi, Ktunaxa, Stoney Nakoda and Tsuu’tina Nations alongside the Metis people. She enjoys delivering programs surrounding wetlands, water and Alberta’s native animals and plants. Kat graduated from Lakehead University in 2019 with an honours bachelor’s degree from the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism where studies focused on outdoor skills, leadership, and program development. During her time at Lakehead, she spent a month living aboard Amicus II, an American sailboat belonging to Sea Change Expeditions, a not for profit organization dedicated to community science and climate change education.

Kelsey Shaw

Kelsey Shaw

Kelsey is currently living and studying on beautiful Vancouver Island in Victoria BC on ​Lekwungen, Wyomilth and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories. She is pursuing her Masters degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria in the Public Health and Environmental Engineering Lab. Her passion is related to WASH sector projects, especially providing equitable and sustainable water and sanitation access in resource constrained contexts and rural communities. Her current research focus is on improving common forms of decentralized sanitation technologies (i.e. septic tank systems, pit latrines, composting toilets) to aid in closing the gap, as set out by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end open defecation by 2030 and provide safe and equitable access, especially for young girls and women, to safe sanitation services.

Kelsey believes that collaboration, education and open communication, especially between younger generations, is instrumental in achieving sustainability goals and alleviating inequities, especially for water and sanitation issues.

In her free time when she is not out hiking or backcountry camping you can find Kelsey in her kitchen making a variety of flavours of homemade wine and kombucha.


Lexy Harquail

Lexy grew up in Cornwall, Ontario the traditional territory of the Audenosaunee (Iroquois), Mohawk, Haudenosaunee (St Lawrence Iroquois), Huron-Wendat. She spent her summers on the East Coast of Canada where her passion for the environment and the ocean grew. She attended the University of New Brunswick to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Geology, where she worked as a wildlife tour guide and studied at the Huntsman Marine Science centre.

Lexy is currently a biologist and educator at the River Institute in Cornwall where she enjoys sharing her love of the environment with youth and teaching them about the importance of water. As a new member of the YAB team, she is very excited to connect with youth through educational programs and the Young Water Speaks contest.

Lingfei Li

Lingfei Li

Lingfei grew up with a passion for environmental conservation due to plenty of time spent in nature, great teachers that taught her about the multitude of ecosystems in Canada and many Hinterland Who’s Who commercials in between her cartoons. At present, she lives on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science at Ontario Tech University and is currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto with a focus on conservation and biodiversity. Lingfei believes that water connects all of us to one another and to the variety of species on the planet, and that by using artistic expression to create water stories, we may foster understanding and share information that leads to greater environmental awareness and imaginative solutions to water issues. A creative, driven person who loves the arts and cares deeply for nature, Lingfei is excited to join Waterlution in engaging youth and sharing water knowledge.


Lizzy Hanna


Mackenzie Simmons

Mackenzie Simmons is one of our newest additions to our Youth Advisory Board. Mackenzie is currently a full-time student residing on treaty 6 territory and studying at the UofA’s french campus, Campus Saint-Jean. Our new addition is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, with a major in Social Studies and a minor in French.

 Mackenzie is passionate about education and empowering indigenous voices through her craft. The aspiring educator believes that in order to create a brighter future for ourselves and our planet we must support and engage youth through education.

In addition to this, when Mackenzie is not working on furthering herself academically she is out exploring Canada and Alberta’s parks with friends. Mackenzie loves to get outside by hiking, skiing and kayaking and believes in the importance of preserving our parks.

Mackenzie is looking forward to working on the Waterluiton’s Youth Advisory Board and getting youth engaged in conversation about water and our environment.

Maddie Carr

Maddie Carr is a third-year student at the University of New Brunswick, working towards a degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership with a secondary major in Environmental Studies. She had the pleasure of growing up in a rural area of New Brunswick, surrounded by acres of forest, streams, and grassy fields. As a result, Maddie has possessed a deep appreciation of nature from a young age; an appreciation that has grown into fierce protection as she has grown older and begun to learn more about the environmental systems that surround her. Today, she volunteers and works with a variety of environmental organizations in campaigns and organizations that promote public education and hands-on action. Maddie is especially passionate about working with children, as she believes that those who grow up learning about the environment will find ways of protecting it as they grow older. In the future, Maddie has dreams of finding work in the environmental non-profit sector and making a positive impact on the world around her

Madison Pecoskie

Madison Pecoskie

Madison lives in Spruce Grove, Alberta on Treaty 6 territory. She has a BSc in Biological Sciences where she focused most of her studies on ecology. During her studies, she became more aware of environmental issues going on in the world and is making a conscious effort to do her part to help lessen the effects of these issues. She grew up in Ontario and spent a majority of her summers in the Madawaska Valley enjoying different lakes and the Madawaska river. Since moving to Alberta, she has loved being close to the Rocky Mountains and tries to spend as many weekends as she can exploring them. Madison is now doing public outreach related to environmental health all over Alberta. She is excited to keep learning and help educate others while on the Youth Advisory Board.

Mansimran Virk

Mansimran Virk

Mansimran Virk is a second-year nursing student in the province of Alberta. She currently resides on the Treaty 6 territory which encompasses the traditional territories of numerous western Canadian First Nations as well as the Métis people. Despite growing up in Delhi, India, far-removed from any large sources of water or beaches, she has always been passionate about aquatic and environmental issues. Her relationship with water began when she first learned to swim at 8 years old and has only grown as she continues to explore the vast collection of Canada’s waters.

Living in Canada, the 4th country in the world with the largest freshwater reserve, is a privilege and also comes with the responsibility of the preservation of this valuable resource. This YAB position provides a great opportunity for her to incorporate her passion for water and youth education, and promote water and environmental sustainability for the next generation to follow.


Maria Eloisa Sia

Maria Eloisa is a settler in Southern Ontario with Filipino roots. You can call her Eloisa. She resides on Treaty 3 Territory Between the Lakes Purchase (Guelph ON), the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation of the Anishinaabek Peoples. Growing up in the Philippines and in Canada, she started to understand from a young age that access to clean drinking water was not equal across global communities. This understanding marked the beginning of her water story and her connection with water and its values.

Eloisa is passionate about working within the intersection of environment, education, and social justice. With the rest of the YAB team, she is enthusiastic to learn, unlearn, connect, and work with youths through Young Water Speaks.

Eloisa presently works for an environmental engineering firm. She holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Environmental Science and a M.E.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Western University

Mariem Oloroso

Mariem Oloroso

Mariem grew up in northwestern Alberta in the middle of the lands of the Beaver, Dene Tha’, Little Red River Cree, and Tallcree First Nations. She now lives on Treaty 6 territory in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan or Edmonton, the traditional grounds for the Cree, Salteaux, Nakota Sioux, Blackfoot, and Métis Peoples. She has a BSc in biological sciences and is currently in the process of completing her master’s in environmental public health sciences. Her interest in water began with a grade 10 science fair project on water filtration and she continues to explore this interest through her research in water microbiology. Mariem has a particular interest in sustainable water management and is excited to learn about what this might look like from different perspectives. When she’s not working on her thesis or sleeping, you’ll find Mariem treasure hunting in a thrift store, being active, spending time with her family, or finding new foods to eat with her friends. She is excited to be a part of Waterlution’s Youth Advisory Board and looks forward to learning about everyone’s water stories.

Melina Sorensen

Melina Sorensen

Melina is a graduate student in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University where she studies the ecotoxicological impacts of microplastics on marine biota in the Salish Sea. Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Melina moved to Victoria to attend the University of Victoria where she completed a Bachelor of Science with honours in Geography. Outside of school, Melina works for the Regional Parks Department of the Capital Regional District as a Technical Assistant for the GIS team. Melina has over ten years of experience working with children and youth as a downhill ski instructor, camp counsellor, leadership director, and marine naturalist/educator. She hopes of pursuing a career in higher education either as a University Professor, or Environmental Educator.

Melina has lived, worked and played on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen, Songhees and WSÁNÉC peoples since 2014, and feels a deep connection to the Salish Sea around her. She is especially passionate about marine mammal conservation and experiential learning. When not working or studying, Melina can be found exploring the coast, sipping on coffee, practicing yoga, and cooking for friends and family.


Michelle Nguyen

Michelle currently resides on the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories (Vancouver). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences at the University of British Columbia. After a couple of years of travelling and living abroad, her passion for environmental and social justice as well as water resource management and governance in the global south has led her to pursue a Master’s of Arts in International Studies at Simon Fraser University. She hopes her dedication to environmental education and community development will help inspire and raise awareness of the challenges we face in protecting our natural resources. You can find her hiking, backpacking and staying outdoors as much as possible. She is excited to participate in the Youth Advisory Board and looks forward to meeting and working with other youth.

Miki Tamblyn

Miki Tamblyn

Miki Tamblyn grew up catching frogs and hiking the boreal forest along the northern shores of Lake Superior in Robinson-Superior Treaty territory on the traditional lands of the Fort William First Nation. She holds a BSc in Wildlife Conservation and Biology from the University of Guelph and has always been captivated by the relationships between humans and the more-than-human world. This interest has led Miki to study primates in southern Mexico and out to Vancouver Island to work as a raptor trainer and coastal naturalist. Today she is exploring the world of forest school education back in Guelph, on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. She loves sharing the joy of the natural world with young children and youth through exploring themes of environmental stewardship and social justice. Miki is also a printmaker, wildcrafter and poet who views spirit as part of our greater collective ecology. She is looking forward to diving into the powerful art of storytelling as part of Waterlution’s Youth Advisory Board and celebrating the ways water connects all life with the Young Water Speaks contest.


Nsamwa-Milika Zimba

Nsamwa-Milika (Milika) has always been passionate about the environment. Partnered with her love to swim, it’s no shock she found her way to Waterlution! She is currently a second-year student pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies and Geography at the University of Manitoba located on the original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. In her spare time, Milika is either indulging in creative arts such as photography, writing and drawing or out exploring, trying very hard not to get lost, again. Oh, and eating! Lots and lots of eating. Milika became a member of Waterlution as she believes that although everyone and everything in the world has its differences, we are all united by our heavy reliance on water and therefore must strive to conserve it, not only for us but for the generations to come. Originally from Zambia, a fast-developing yet still impoverished nation, she knows first hand what life can be like for those without adequate access to clean or any water sources at all. So she is very excited to help educate the younger generation on the importance of water and its conservation as much as she can!


Radhika Saini

Being outdoors in our natural world has always made Radhika curious, this curiosity has led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in earth and planetary science. Currently residing on Treaty 6 territory Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, the traditional name for Edmonton, she volunteers as a blogger on the topic of reusing and at her school to promote sustainable living among other students and community members. Radhika has always had a creative side, she uses that creativity in painting and creative writing. Also, as a tutor, she enjoys educating and working with youth that comes from diverse backgrounds. As someone who grew up in India, Radhika joined waterlution to learn more about water in Canada. She has become inspired by water as water has the strength and power to shape and destroy landforms around us, while at the same time is vital in giving life to plants and anything living on Earth.


Sevrenne Sheppard

Sevrenne grew up on on Lək̓ʷəŋən territory on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, surrounded by her favourite body of water – the Pacific Ocean. She holds an Honours undergraduate degree in Environment and Ecological Determinants of Health and MSc. in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University, and has also studied Natural Resource Studies and Indigenous Governance in Haida Gwaii through the University of British Columbia. Her graduate research brought her to the Arctic, where she focused on understanding and modelling the connections between water security, public health, and food security in Nunavut. Sevrenne has extensive experience in environmental education, and has previously facilitated an urban agriculture internship program for at-risk youth, delivered educational science, environment, and engineering programming to youth in remote communities across British Columbia and Nunavut, and worked with a team of peers to initiate the ECOLE Project at McGill University, which has since grown into a flourishing campus hub for sustainability education. In her free time, Sevrenne enjoys gardening, cooking, riding her bike, and exploring the outdoors. She is currently based in Ottawa on the unceded territory of the Algonguin Anishnabe Nation and works in policy and program development with Natural Resources Canada.


Shuang Liang

Shuang currently resides in Ottawa on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, working as a federal research scientist on water and wastewater projects in Northern communities. A love of the natural environment led her to pursue studies in Environmental and Life Sciences at Queen’s University, followed by a Master’s in Civil Engineering. Shuang is passionate about life-long learning and currently also volunteers with the Canadian Water Network. During her spare time, Shuang enjoys all things outdoors – backcountry camping, hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling, bouldering – as well as painting, checking out films at the local theatre and exploring farmers’ markets. Shuang looks forward to working with and learning from other young water professionals across the country to facilitate the Young Water Speaks contest


Sijia Li

Sijia is a recent journalism MA graduate living in Tiohtià:ke (otherwise known as Montreal). She had spent the last two years in China before returning to live in Canada, and she is experienced in journalism and creative writing. Her most recent work experience is interning at an international press agency in Beijing. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, paddling, and reading books.


Sydney Morgan

Growing up in Northern Ontario (Sudbury specifically, which is located in the Anishinabewaki territory) being surrounded by beautiful forests and lakes, Sydney Morgan always had a passion for protecting the environment. She is currently a radio operator for the forest fire and aviation division of the Ministry of Natural Resources. After receiving a diploma in Forestry and Wildlife at College Boreal, she has found that she is passionate about conservation and sustainability in particular. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, being around lakes and swimming (always the last one out of the water), volunteering at the local wildlife center and taking photos of wildlife. She is always trying to not only learn about, but also educate others on issues impacting the environment, and how we can all make a difference in some way or another. Sydney is proudly bilingual and loved to read and write stories as a child- and is now excited to take part in hearing and writing stories in both official Canadian languages for the Young Water Speaks contest. She is thrilled to have been chosen to be a part of the Youth Advisory Board for Waterlution and cannot wait to start learning, educating, and meeting like-minded people!


Tazi Rodrigues

Tazi (she/her) is a second-generation settler on Treaty 1 territory, the land of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. She currently lives in the Lake Winnipeg watershed. As well as pursuing a BSc in biology at McGill University, she is a widely-published poet, and her creative and academic work both center on aquatic ecosystems. Her interests in water, intercultural understanding, and storytelling have led her to live near the Salish Sea, St. Lawrence River, and Lake Superior, and she looks forward to learning more about water bodies across the country through the Youth Advisory Board. In her spare time, she explores nearby creeks and reads on their banks.


Teneille Arnott

Teneille grew up on the island of Tiohtià:ke, the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Tiohtià:ke, also known as Montreal, has served as a meeting place where goods were traded and exchanged amongst many different Nations including the Huron/Wendat, Abenaki, and Anishinaabeg (Algonquin), amongst others. Teneille studied International Development at McGill University with a double minor in Anthropology and History of the Indian Ocean World.

After working for an Indigenous-led Community Based Conservation Organization in the South Rift of Kenya, Teneille became passionate about youth engagement in conservation. She sees education as a tool for empowerment and continued this through working for an education start-up in Nairobi, Kenya. She is interested in social justice issues related to water including unequal access to clean water, climate refugees, and locally-led solutions to development. She believes that there is a lot of unlearning and re-learning to be done in regards to colonial narratives around natural resource use, access, and control, and is excited to do so alongside the YAB team! Teneille loves hiking mountains, dancing, and playing the ukulele at a very amateur level.


Victoria Leslie

Born and raised on Haida Gwaii, Victoria Leslie descends from the Juus xaaydaga clan of the Haida Nation. Growing up on Haida Gwaii, her culture instilled a respect for the environment and a responsibility to do her part in helping sustain it for future generations. She is currently living on Lekwungen, Wyomilth and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories while finishing her Psychology degree at the University of Victoria. An environmental psychology class she took combined both her interests in psychology and helping the environment. Victoria is interested in environmental education because it is important to help others understand and appreciate their environment. She is excited to be on the Youth Advisory Board to help with the Young Water Speaks program and inspire youth to make meaningful connections with their environment.